So the follow up to The Book of Orm and The Book of Angels (what do you mean you haven’t read them yet, you fool?) is The Book of Dragons! It’ll contain much belching flame, fang and claw, not to mention magical realism, urban fantasy, epic fantasy and ye olde metaphysical fantasy. Tales from myself and other leading dragon authors like Joanne Hall, C. N. Lesley, Michael Bowman and more.
And here’s the gorgeous cover done by Charlotte Pang:
So I’m now announcing that the follow-up to the troll-infested Book of Orm is an actual thing and gonna be released around Dec 2016 or Jan 2017. It’s called the Book of Angels, and contains a good number of the universe’s secrets. I’ve got 7 stories in the collection, and there’s also a tale each from Matt White (doing a follow-up to his tale in the first book), Sammy HK Smith (of Kristell Ink fame), Andrew Coulthard (of Eibonvale Press fame), Caimh McDonnell (famous stand-up comedian) and Mike Bowman (soon to be famous too). Please, please, please, if you haven’t yet done so, go pick up a copy of Orm to aid the cause (and to keep the trolls well supplied with goat-meat)!
There’s so much to watch these days, there’s always the ‘one that got away’ (to quote Katy Perry, latter day philosopher). And for me, turns out, it was the tv show Fringe. I have now finished the epic (21-episode) first series and it’s darkly fanruddytastic. It’s a proper ‘dark science’ series. At last, proper dark science. For years I’d been asking myself why there weren’t more books in the vein of Jon Marco’s The Jackal of Nar (he’s interviewed on this site, if you wanna know more), and I think the answer is that it’s so hard to write/create. But when someone manages it, it’s brrrrrrrilliant. The plot of Fringe? Well, an FBI agent, mad scientist and dodgy dealer are tasked with holding back the tide of weirdness leaking into our world from an alternate reality. It’s a modern Twilight Zone, if you will. The series has solid urban legend stories for each episode and a tantalising story arc, but it stoically refuses to spoonfeed the audience. It’s worth paying close attention too, as there are hidden messages and clues aplenty. And…wait for it…series 1 features the legendary Leonard Nimoy! What more could you want? It’s a 9.5 out of 10 from me. An absolute must for fantasy and scifi fans alike. Oh, and all other human beings and their pets!
So, now all the short-term hype and reactionist fuss has died down, it’s important to take a more considered, longer-term view of The Force Awakens. Does it matter that the movie is a rehash of New Hope, Empire SB and Return OTJ? Does it matter that the character of Maz is just Yoda? Kinda. It means the movie lacks originality and the world-changing impact of the first movies. BUT it means the movie takes on themes about how crimes of the parents are visited on their children, only for those crimes to be repeated by the children, and about how human history often repeats (because we are the same as we ever were – we are not developing or we have fairly essential values). Arguably, then, The Force Awakens has a better sense of its own place within history and time than the other movies – it is more self-aware. And the audience isn’t being patronised really, because the audience is more self-aware these days (look at movies like Dead Pool, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc). More than all of that, The Force Awakens isn’t just a rehash – it makes important changes to the original three movies – including updating gender roles and removing the racist midichlorian bloodline explanation for the power of the Force.
Where does all that leave us in terms of a final judgement then? Sadly, due to its derivative nature, I don’t think The Force Awakens will really stand the test of time (despite its superior understanding of time). Far worse movies have of course successfully stood this test, mainly because they demonstrate true creative originality. That does not mean The Force Awakens is a waste of time though – it may turn out to be a crucial adjustment and forerunner for a movie that does then change the world, a movie that might not have been possible otherwise. Let’s damn well hope so. The Force Awakens, then, is a crucially important ‘holding’ movie. And it’s a lot of fun too, which is important. In and of itself, it’s 7/10 as a movie, but in the larger scarier scheme of things, it’s potentially a 10/10 (which ain’t too shoddy).
The Horde descends on Waterstones Doncaster at 11am this Saturday, 29 Aug 2016. There will wantonness and mayhem… and I’ll sign a few copies of The Book of Orm. Hurrah!
For the next few days, you can get The Book of Orm for a trifling/piffling 99p! Wish my publisher had told me before. On Amazon:
Rejoice, rejoice! The Book of Orm launches tomorrow. Secrets of the cosmos are revealed. God’s livid, apparently. That’ll teach Him.